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To the citizens of Tennessee
Recall how we were warned to be careful to not let the Republican party co-opt us and/or our movement? It is happening now and you should know about this to stop the GOP’s further capitalizing on our work with their legislation or lack of representation.
On a national level, Boehner removed three of the tea party congressmen from their committees because they refused to rubber stamp any program, legislation or compromise put forth by the establishment. Here in Tennessee, one of our most reliable state senators is Mae Beavers, who chaired the Judiciary Committee and was aligned with us to reduce the power held by the judiciary who has stated that they don’t want anyone overseeing or interfering with what they do. Senator Beavers knew that she was entering unwelcome territory as defined by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. He, Governor Haslam, and Speaker Harwell all have publicly stated that the forty-one year old ‘Tennessee’ system for election of judges is illegal and now they want to try to legitimize this system by passing a Constitutional amendment.
Knowing that Beavers did not share his views, Ramsey completely removed her from the committee, not just as its chair. The Lt. Governor has this right conferred upon him and if he were a Progressive, we’d not be surprised but if you voted for him and publicly urged his election in the primary, then you’d have to fight the feeling of betrayal. Our Lt. Governor is not appearing to be the conservative candidate that we imagined. You can view a YouTube of his reasoning for this decision and then decide for yourself how principled or unprincipled is his decision.
The judges of Tennessee have one of their own, Jeff Bivins, and other high-profile attorneys lobbying to see to the passage of this amendment. If passed, it will remove from all citizen voters their right to elect the judges as our Constitution requires. You should be offended that any state judge is being paid with your dollars to lobby for laws concerning his branch of government. This coordinated effort of the judges has its roots in their interest to preserve the system in which they have the greatest power…and we, the people don’t.
The GOP has changed their state rules to insure that they have more control over who can be elected by Republican members to serve as GOP state and county leaders. It should come as no surprise that those persons who have been in power for decades are drawing lines in the sand, arguing in the name of being a “team player” that principle must yield to party loyalty.
In the name of removing politics from the election process, Lt. Governor Ramsey has been provided an ample description of what the lawyers and judges want. He seems more interested in distancing the qualified voters from being allowed to choose who’ll be the highest judges in our state. I suppose if he were still here, we might ask Judge Bork just how well that politics-free process of judicial election works.